It’s been a turbulent time for Strava, but it’s clear their sights are firmly set on serving the entire outdoor scene, not just running and cycling.


Strava announced today that it has just bought European 3D mapping app FATMAP for an undisclosed sum of cash. While Strava is known for its distinctive 2D maps, this move is set to make things decidedly lumpy (three dimensional).

FATMAP is a mobile app which has about 1.6 million users, but Strava’s 100 million users will soon be able to log into the app with their Strava login, ahead of further integration later in the year.

Read more: Our Favourite Outdoor and Adventure Apps

Wait What’s Strava?

Simply put, it’s a social media for sports. Users post their activities and stats, usually with a GPS watch, and other users can comment or ‘kudos’ (basically a ‘like’).

While the app has solid free functionality, the premium version offers more detailed route mapping tools, segments and heatmaps created by other users and more detailed data analysis.

Read more: What’s The Difference Between GPS Watches?


Strava, bike, phone, handlebar, jay miller on unsplash

Someone get this guy a phone mount! | Photo by Jay Miller on Unsplash

Hiking, Trail Running, and Mountain Biking Oh My!

In recent years users have seen Strava expand its focus from running and cycling, with options for activities like hiking, trail running, mountain biking, all accompanied by a 3D map option (for premium users).

Safe to say, these additions have been welcomed by many in the outdoors community who know how different road cycling and mountain biking (even gravel biking) can be. But the 3D map, which relies on Mapbox technology, isn’t that good.

FATMAP on the other hand, is a gorgeous, immersive experience, that provides the kind of 3D detail that’s useful for understanding the terrain you’re about to encounter.


FATMAP Founder Misha Gopaul said this of the acquisition:

‘We started FATMAP with a mission to make outdoor experiences more accessible. Where other map platforms have been designed for navigating streets and cities, we wanted to build a map designed specifically to help people explore.’

Sound a bit like any Australian digital outdoor publication you know and love? He went on to say that:

‘Joining forces with Strava opens up new exciting possibilities and will accelerate our progress to enable millions more people to explore the world’s wild places, safely and sustainably.’

Prices Hikes and Value Adds

Strava recently annoyed a great deal of its users with a price hike. The increase, the first in a decade, was likely necessary, but with inconsistent changes across different regions (some increases of up to 67%) and poor communication, a lot of people have been declaring that they’ll be cancelling their subscription.

The company also laid off 38 employees last month, about 14% of its workforce, which has had people questioning whether the company is struggling, taking a new direction, or simply price gouging.

However with more sports added two weeks ago, including pilates, tennis, virtual rowing, and like four other racquet sports like ‘pickleball’, and an integration with injury prevention app Recover Athletics, it’s clear that Strava is striving to become a one stop shop.


Strava and fatmap integration, mobile mockup, source: strava

Mockups provided by Strava show how FATMAP integration could allow immersive 3D route planning

Outdoor Places More Accessible Than Ever

One things’s clear, the outdoors has never been easier for people to discover and access – gatekeeping will simply prolong the inevitable. It’s going to be more important than ever for companies like Strava (and We Are Explorers) to educate their users on how to tread lightly, leave no trace, and protect the wild places we all love, and share.